Back to the Future!

March 5, 2019 Louisa Kiely

Thank you for the huge interest in, and great feedback for, the Soil Carbon ebook. I feel the Soil is in safe hands with the caring Farmers out there! We’ll return often to the Soil here and at the Conference, to answer the question –

How do we increase the Carbon in our Soils?

– the largest Carbon Sink under our control.

 

For now, its ‘Back to the Future’ because there is a wider agenda we can address as Land holders and Stewards. Commonly known as:

‘Payment for Ecosystem Services’.

Interestingly, in The Land this past week the headlines were simultaneously: “Push to pay for Enviro deeds” – encouraging Government to take up this opportunity; alongside “PM’s climate fund a ‘lost opportunity’” – lamenting the fact that farmer groups have already said the Climate Solutions Fund (announced this week) is a ‘gesture before the election’.

We at CFA will Keep OUT of the politics – until we know the colour of the new Government. But what the aforementioned quotes show is the growing understanding that there is more than ONE MARKET to be accessed in this new ‘Low Carbon Economy’.

AND as Governments follow, not lead (sorry, but it’s true) – why not show the politicians what CAN be done and indeed IS being done. Could this be a platform to then influence policy?

So, once we are contemplating ‘PAYMENT FOR ECOSYSTEM SERVICES’ the Market widens.

We can EXPAND our horizons. For example:

  • Payment for Water Quality improvements – This is being pioneered by Green Collar and the Reef Credits. Yes, it’s about the reef at the moment, but can lead to templates for other things – Mangrove protection etc.
  • Standards/methods outside the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). While ERF methods are available, and millions have been traded, many farmers have found them complex and complicated. At the conference we will explain the ERF methods in Plain English, But there are other METHODS or STANDARDS available.
  • E.g. The Gold Standard is an Internationally available method for creating credits able to be sold in Voluntary markets worldwide. Forestry, Agroforestry, Water Savings in Irrigated Sugar and other projects can be mounted here in Australia and provide an alternative to the ERF. We have an example already in Australia. And Nepal is also using this Standard in Agroforestry. How does it work?
  • Direct arrangements between a buyer and seller. We will bring you an example of ‘insetting’ in Australia which is where a ‘buyer’ makes a direct arrangement with a seller and they craft the project around what they are doing to suit their requirements.
  • Internationally, ‘Insetting’ is growing, and so next Newsletter I will go into this concept in more detail.
  • Further to the above, we have other examples where groups are engaged with Measurement, monitoring and reporting – and seeking buyer preferences for their produce. This is both Global and Local.
  • AND what about combinations? Marginal land to trees, soil carbon in good areas and Biodiversity offsets in other areas.

Let alone Solar/Wind opportunities! Wait till I tell you about the ‘Volt Farmer’!

So, hold onto your hats, the Future is here! But, it’s up to up to embrace us and Expand it. What is the best way for YOU to move forward?

ONWARDS!

Oh, and by the way –

 

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